“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” ~Christopher Reeve
Have you ever decided to go after something, a dream or goal that seemed near impossible to achieve? Have you ever had your will and drive tested and pushed to the brink? I have, and I hope I continue to be tested in this way, as it has helped me grow enormously as a person.
When you’re working through a difficult task, you face many challenges. Things don’t always end up going the way you had hoped. Deadlines have to be changed, details hammered out, expectations need to be adjusted regularly. Sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring against the success of your endeavor, but you do whatever you can to push past it and keep working for your goal.
If you’re in the process of pursuing a big dream and you’re worried, feeling self-defeated or overwhelmed, maybe some of these thoughts will help.
1. It’s okay to be inexperienced.
It can be all too easy to let your insecurities get the better of you when you’re embarking on a new adventure and you feel like the greenest of the bunch. If part of your dream requires you to work with others who have more experience than you, this uncertainty can be amplified.
Sometimes you feel a little ignorant and unsure, but there are certain lessons one can only learn from hands-on participation, and it’s perfectly okay if this is a first for you! Everybody has to start somewhere, and all of those worldly, wise, more knowledgeable people you come into contact with are no exception to the rule. They were all beginners once, too and they know that the best thing you can do is embrace being the newbie.
Once you take your ego out of the equation and place your focus on the goal you’re trying to achieve, rather than looking silly or feeling foolish for not knowing everything, you’ll find that being a bright-eyed beginner can be a wonderful thing.
Remember when you started 1st grade as a child? That first day is a little scary, knowing that you’re coming into something brand new and aren’t sure what to expect, but then you get there in the morning and everything is bright and beautiful and all you can think about are the limitless possibilities of what you’re going to learn and do. The same optimistic attitude can be applied to the start of any daunting journey.
So take this opportunity to see life through the eyes of a child, or through a lens of wonder and joy, taking in every little thing there is to learn along the way.
2. There are always a few bumps in the road.
Big dreams are frightening for a lot of people, and there is a reason for that, they can be extremely challenging and they take just about all the dedication you can muster to make them real. Any undertaking this big is going to have setbacks, and it’s common to feel discouraged and doubtful when they happen.
But one of the most effective ways to combat that defeatism is to remember why you started on this road in the first place. Keep your motivation and cause close to your heart and mind at all times, and this will keep you grounded when the bad days occasionally come.
Another important thing to remind yourself is that these setbacks aren’t failures, they’re simply to be expected in any project. Every day can’t be the best day, but that’s alright because when we come up against challenges we didn’t expect, this is when we are at our most resourceful. Human beings tend to preform even better when something they want is challenged.
So don’t forget your cause, and remember that a few difficulties here and there are really just a sign of positive forward progress and they’re all a normal part of the process.
3. Use accountability as a motivator.
This is a clever trick for anyone trying to reach any goal, big or small. If you keep your ambitions to yourself, you can always justify a little procrastination or putting off important steps. We are excellent self-manipulators when we want to be and it often happens on a purely subconscious level.
Being open and telling others about your dream/goal is the best way to ensure that you are accountable for following through with what has been proposed. Whether it’s about losing weight and becoming fit, training for a competition of some kind, or achieving some academic goal like graduating college, announcing your expectations to the people in your life helps to solidify it as something that will happen, and not just something you’d like to happen.
Knowing that you’ve made this promise in a sense not only to yourself but to others in your life makes it nearly impossible to give up on. We all want to see ourselves succeed, but it’s even more satisfying when we’ve got a group of supportive cheer leaders just waiting to see it as well.
You may even find that your supporters are as inspired by your tenacity as you are by their encouragement, and who knows how many will finally decide to go after that dream they’ve been had on the back burner for years because they see you taking the leap and making it happen!
4. You can’t put a price on life experience.
We live in a modern world that often feels completely driven by cash flow. It is amazing and saddening to know how many people give up on or never pursue their dreams because they’re worried about the potential costs and financial strain.
While I understand that keeping a roof over your head and food on your plate is necessary and important, it’s also essential to know the value of life experience and how it can cultivate a whole new existence for someone when really treasured and applied correctly.
I know it can be scary to pour your hard earned money and assets into something new and uncertain. You can always think of a million simple reasons not to use your limited resources. There are no guarantees. It might not work out like you wanted, and you may risk the inevitable “I told you so” from an unhelpful bystander.
Yes, this is all a part of the risk. But things could also turn out even better than you’d hoped, and if they don’t, this could be the first step on a different journey you may not want to miss.
So what is your big dream? What’s that one thing you have wanted and craved for so long that you can’t remember when it began? Maybe it’s time to reexamine that dream now.